Originally Posted by joycemango
I'm new to sailing, please be gentile with me. My partner and I just bought a 1986 C&C
41 to l ... initial plans were to get to Florida
starting this Fall, but we're not going to make it. So plan B is to stay in Norfolk VA -area for the winter and sail the Chessie (where I can practice) etc.
I have lots of questions, but starting with this - apparently it does get cold and even snows in Norfolk, and I've read all about condensation etc. We can't shrink wrap, so ...
I've read some forums
about different options for heating
, and am looking for advice
here, especially given this boat and our circumstances - this is likely not our "forever boat," given that we'd planned to go back and forth between the warm South for the winter and back to New England
for summer (I have some family
for a couple of years anyway) - boat has 8 ft draft
and tall rig - oops!
Anyway, I'd like something safe (electric space heaters out I guess?), non-invasive in terms of punching holes all over the boat (though maybe we could manage a diesel heater by using a work-around for chimney). We did purchase
a small dehumidifier.
I'm very worried about mildew etc. ruining cushions
, etc. inside the boat.
I'm also worried about snow and ice on the topside.
Any ABYC compliant marine
heater that requires fuel combustion, must have a totally enclosed combustion chamber (ie, uses outside air for the intake, and exhaust
completely outside). There is absolutely no communication between the combustion chamber and occupied space.
Beware that many "marine" heaters on the market are not ABYC compliant, and do draw air from inside the vessel. I recommend avoiding these.
So contradicting some posts here, it matters not what the source of heat is regarding condensation.
Any heat source will work
just fine, if it provides sufficient BTUs to heat the space to a comfortable temp.
A lower BTU heater, will require more insulation
and less infiltration to meet temperature needs.
More insulation also reduces condensation on surfaces exposed to the outdoors.
A green house on top (not necessarily shrink wrap) will also help with condensation and ease of heating
(I recommend a full size door (for ease of access) and clear plastic on the lower portion of the greenhouse (to improve visibility out), in the greenhouse.
Laying insulated tarps on deck
, will also help reduce condensation / heat loss.
with insulating material, will also help with condensation/heat loss, but beware making the vessel interior
feel like a dungeon. (Best if these are easily removable to let natural sunlight in during the day.)
In all cases, ventilation and dehumidification needs to be addressed.
For improved ventilation, lots of fans running.
Leave all enclosed area doors or access panels
open or removed, or install grills between occupied and controlled spaces.
Keep the bilge dry as a bone.
Don't use the vessel shower
Keep the engine
space warm (to avoid condensation on metal).
Put breathing grids under all cushions
Any heat source with a thermostatic control is ideal.
For a temporary install, with sufficient shore power
(likely 2 x 30 A) 2 or 3 oil filled electric radiators work
great. They have light fans built-in. Mount lots of low noise
circulating fans throughout the boat.
For permanent install, with ample shore power, residential kickboard electric heaters, connected to a wall mounted thermostat are an awesome solution.
A forced air diesel heating system is great (and works when away from shore power).
If you are nervous of DIY installation
of any solution, hire a pro (meaning with proper credentials, experience, and referrals, not some summer student at a yard, or some boat bum who is willing to take your money
to buy more booze or drugs.)
Non-thermostatically controlled heaters should be avoided as the inside temp will never be where you want it.
PS, I consult, design, and install HVAC
solutions for winter liveaboards on the north shore of Lake Ontario